The weakest link

Astronomers today have a plethora of high quality telescopes and mounts available at their fingertips. However, as Paul Money reveals, even the best pieces of kit can be wasted if you overlook that all-important eyepiece.

Baader Morpheus eyepiece series

It is so easy today to seek out and purchase your chosen telescope: be it via the internet or by visiting one of the many astro retailers, many of which have showrooms enabling customers to browse at their leisure.

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You’d think that buying a complete system with at least one eyepiece would be all you need, but as with all instruments, there is always a weakest link.

Often it comes down to the supplied basic eyepiece, which for most purposes may well suit, but it is no good having excellent optics – be it reflector or refractor or a compound system – and not checking the quality of the eyepieces supplied.

Those photons traveling perhaps millions of light years from a distant galaxy can be wasted if the final stage of their journey consists of an average quality eyepiece.

So to get the best out of your system, manufacturers are always improving their eyepieces to try to give you the best possible view.

In the November issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, Steve Richards enjoyed trying out Baader’s new Morpheus range of 76 degree eyepieces.

Check out his review and remember, don’t let the eyepiece be the weakest link in your observing experience!

It has always impressed me how manufacturers continue to tinker and improve their mounts, and Vixen is no exception.

This month Pete Lawrence takes a look at the modular Vixen AP-SM Mount, a nice versatile system indeed.

Finally, there are some telescope tube assemblies and mirrors that really manage to stand the test of time, so I enjoyed taking a look at Orion Optics’ UK venerable f/4.5 VX8 OTA in our Tried & Tested review.

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See how we all got on by picking up a copy of our November issue, which hits the newsstands 15 October.